June 19, 2013
Soundprint programming for 2008
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A Little Before 'Tis Day
There is a centuries old caroling tradition that was thought to be lost, but discovered to still exist in a tiny village in Newfoundland. The villagers sing the New Year's carol, brought from Europe with the first settlers, and handed down through the ages in the community's oral tradition. There is no written transcription of the melody or its origin. For generations villagers have walked from house to house, entered darkened kitchens after midnight, and sung the carol as occupants listened in the darkness. Producer Chris Brookes tracks down the village carolers and follows them on their rounds as they sing their medieval melodies.
A Trilogy of Holiday Traditions
The holiday season is a time of traditions sometimes nostalgic, sometimes quirky. In this program, three public radio listeners share their holiday stories. Cameron Phillips takes us inside the wonderful and horrible world of craft shows. Cathy De Rubeis tests out a special fruitcake recipe to see if she can reverse the backlash to the holiday dessert. And all her life, in all the places she's lived, Caroline Woodward has found a way to sing - from anxiously performing Christmas carol solos on stage as a young girl to feeling joy and zest today with her choir. This program was produced by Iris Yudai and Steve Wadhams from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series Outfront. This program is part of the international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.
Moving at glacier pace once meant to move hardly at all. No longer. Scientists in Greenland and in Peru are watching glaciers rapidly move forward or retreat, and even disappear at historic rates. Producer Dan Grossman follows several teams as they record the meltdown of some of the world's largestt glaciers.
In urban areas across the country, trees and grass have been replaced with pavement and concrete. Storm water runoff from these paved surfaces in cities can be saturated with harmful substances such as gasoline, oil and trash. We head to the inner city of Baltimore where partners have joined forces to clean up the runoff flowing into the harbor and into the Chesapeake Bay, and at the same time to improve the quality of life for the residents living there.
Who's Got the Dog?
Divorce has an immediate impact on family and friends beyond the couple and their children. Marcia Sheinberg of the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in NY says that the crisis that a divorce creates in the wider network of relationships has been underexplored. It underscores the fact that divorce is more traumatic than we as a society acknowledge. It is not the quick paper solution of a society which discards and moves on all to easily.
The program explores the ripple effects of divorce – how divorce has an impact far beyond the immediate family. In part, this is personal reflection from the producer's own divorce -- Kampfner discovered that there were people who were shocked, in pain and grieving about her family break up and that she felt obligated to console and reassure them. It both made her feel guilty and blessed to know that we are more closely bound to a wide orbit of friends and relatives than we realize. Who’s Got the Dog? will look at how we think we live only in nuclear families, but are actually tied to a community and it often takes a crisis to realize this.
Picture from a late-1990's Halloween in Chicago of Milo the Bee, with Alex as Toto's human and Max as Dogbert's human.
From Brooklyn to Banja Luka
An interesting cross cultural relationship that spans New York, Banja Luka and Amsterdam. Jonathan is a loud New Yorker, a Brooklyn Jew who has been living in Holland for 13 years. He has joint Dutch US nationality, speaks fluent Dutch, and yet remains essentially his boisterous loud American self. He is married to Dragana, a Serbian from Banja Luka, who came here in the midst of the Bosnian war and remains deeply affected by the war and its after effects in her country. They met at a party in Amsterdam ten years ago and have been together ever since. They now have a young trilingual son. The two have much in common - they're clever, loud, extravagant people from musical backgrounds. But she has a Slavic melancholia that contrasts with his wisecracking Jewish humour. In this program, they discuss their different cultures, how they feel being such big personalities living in a country that doesn't seem at first glance particularly suited to their ethnic backgrounds and character, and also the nature of their tempestuous relationship. This program was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands and airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Romance Series.
HPV and Men
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the cause of most cervical cancer in women, and many girls are being vaccinated against the virus. Now researchers for new vaccines are targeting men. Sarah McCammon, of NET Radio in Nebraska, explains how easily men can pass the virus to their sexual partners even if they themselves remain healthy, and why vaccinating young people of both genders could be beneficial in reducing the spread of the virus.
The photograph showing the DNA of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) was provided, with permission, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln/ Angie Fox, illustrator/ 2010.
HPV - the Shy Virus
The Human Papillomavirus - or HPV - is a common virus that touches billions of human beings in one way or another - from a tiny wart on the hand to invasive cancer. HPV is a major health threat worldwide, yet mostly harmless. The virus can "hide" for years from a person's immune system - with no apparent ill effects - then awaken and create deadly disease. This is the story of a virus that often doesn't act as scientists expect it to - a puzzling, paradoxical virus. HPV, the Shy Virus is part of the series "World of Viruses".
The photograph showing the structure of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), is provided with permission by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln/ Angie Fox, illustrator/ 2009.
AIDS in Haiti
In Haiti, it's not hard to find people who have been touched by HIV. Over 30,000 people died from the disease in 2002. The stories of those who survive draw a portrait of a country in turmoil a mother in a rural countryside already overwhelmed by poverty and disease; sex workers who must decide every night whether to risk condom free sex; and HIV positive family members who still feel a lingering stigma. The prognosis for Haiti's response to the disease still remains elusive. Yet doctors firmly believe that the tide is turning on the AIDS battle in Haiti. We visit centers where community-based work, such as research and treatment, is carried out daily. This program is part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Check-up on World Health.
Wrapping Dreams in Lavender
Gregory was only five when he knew he should have been born a girl. But it took till his mid-50s to harness the courage to become Susan. The gender he knew he was in his brain was different to the sex of his genitals. This is now known to be a medical rather than psychological condition but is still commonly confused with cross-dressing - where people dress as the opposite sex to fulfil a psychological need. For Susan this diagnosis of transsexualism was a godsend. But for Mary, his wife, it was devastating.
This program was a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Media Awards for Radio.
God Knows Why
Why does a woman give up her life to enter a world that many of us cannot comprehend, the closed order of the Carmelites?
Outgoing, attractive Aunty Janny knew 42 years ago, at the age of twenty, that she had a special calling, to lock herself away from the modern world and leave all that she knew behind. She entered the closed order of the Catholic Carmelite nuns where she swore herself to three vows, Chastity, Poverty and Obedience, and never to live in the outside world again. Janny has physically hugged her brothers once in 42 years and her sister on only a couple of occasions.
Aunty Janny or Sister Johanna of the Cross, as she is formally known, has chosen a world that many of us cannot comprehend, a world totally devoted to God in which she prays for the salvation of us all.
Her brother Denver struggles with his sister's decision and feels she could have been the head of any corporation had she, in his eyes, not wasted her life behind those walls. However, her younger sister Maryanne understands the faith that drove her sister to do what she has done and believes the power of prayer could be the salvation of us all.
When the Snow Melts on Svalbard
Snowy peaks, untouched wilderness as far as the eye can see -- the Svalbard archipelago, at 79° North, is a focal point of the world's Arctic research. Polar regions play a key role in regulating our climate. The are also the most sensitive to change. Just 750 miles from the North Pole, scientists from all over the world monitor what's happening to our climate and how changes affect life on our planet. Join Radio Deutsche-Welle producer Irene Quaile, as she tours Koldewey Station in the Svalbard archipelago as part of Pole to Pole, an international media celebration of the International Polar Year, produced with support from the National Science Foundation.
New Norcia: The Monastery and the Observatory
In Western Australia, there's a small and somewhat surreal town called New Norcia. It's Australia's only Monastic town - with a surprising and imposing collection of Spanish style buildings. New Norcia was established in the 1850s as a 'Spanish Benedictine Monastery.' Today, a handful of monks continue the ancient tradition of prayer, work and service in their search for God. Now, New Norcia is also the home to one of the European Space Agency's largest tracking stations. A monastery next to an observatory might seem incongruous, however these neighbors have forged an unlikely understanding. Both groups are exploring the riddle of existence and space, in different ways. This program was produced by Roz Bluett of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Music House
Music is the life-blood of the Baka Pygmies, the rainforest people of the Cameroon. They use music to enchant the animals of the forest before the hunt, to cure illnesses and to overcome disputes. Everyone sings and plays and there is no sense of performer and audience. The Euro-African band 'Baka Beyond' have been making music inspired by their visits to the Baka for over ten years. On this visit, at the request of the Baka, the band are taking an English timber-frame specialist to build a music house for them, paid for
with royalties from Baka Beyond's recordings. In this program, Producer Eka Morgan travels to the forest to meet the Baka and members of the band while they build the music house.
Gore's Great Art Coup
The small rural town of Gore on New Zealand's South Island, recently managed to secure the art collection of the renowned sexologist and academic John Money. John Money gained international recognition for his ground-breaking work at Johns Hopkins University and for his early championing of the New Zealand 20th century author, the late Janet Frame. This program, from Radio New Zealand, tells the story of how the director of a tiny regional art gallery managed to convince a town, known mainly for its sheep and gold mining past, to accept a renowned art collection and have it relocated from Money's flat in a rundown area of Baltimore. Gore's Great Art Coup airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Watching the Trees
I'm siting in a park looking at the trees. Above me attached to a lamp post there's a camera watching trees. Another camera is pointed at other people who also may be looking at trees. The cameras are running 24/7. I know this because there's a council sign near the camera telling me so. Behind me there's another larger council sign warning that tree killers face a fine of $1 million . I read that a couple of times: $1 million? Yes, they really mean $1 million.
In Sydney, a city with some of the highest real estate prices in the world, a tree blocking a water view can reduce the value of a property by $200,000. Against a background of increasingly desperate council measures to stop tree poisoning, "Watching the Trees" explores how humans' relationships with trees continues to evolve as the green movement engages with real estate in the 21st century.
Cities of the Plain
Urban forests in desert settings -- no, this is not about transferring Central Park to L.A. Arid environments have their own "green" cover, and cities destroy and ignore that vegetation to their peril. Veteran producer Bill Drummond travels out West from mountains to shore to ask: when are trees beneficial and when are they not? This program airs as part of our ongoing series, Tales from Urban Forests.
This documentary takes us deep into the experience of Australia's urban poor. We accompany the volunteers of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, past the million dollar real estate, the mansions, swimming pools and harbor views of Sydney's eastern suburbs, into the homes and lives of the real battlers - people unable to afford to keep a roof over their heads, or feed and clothe their children. This program comes to us from Producer Sharon Davis of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is part of our ongoing international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Our Daily Bread
An aural picture of a Baltimore neighborhood soup kitchen created through the stories of the lives of several regular customers. We are surrounded by the sounds of the streets that are their homes, and we share a sense of hope, despite the empty routine of merely getting through another day with a stop at the soup kitchen.
First Do No Harm
First Do No Harm is a cautionary tale of two countries, two doctors, and two families. The story surrounds families who lost children, only to have their lives torn apart by criminal investigations, accusing them of murdering their children. The cases involved Dr. Charles Smith, then head of the pediatric forensic pathology unit at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto and a so-called expert witness in those children's deaths in Canada. And in the UK, Dr. Sir Roy Meadow, a former president of the British Pediatric Association, also a distinguished expert witness. A look at what went wrong and what's being done to right them in both countries. This program was produced by Karin Wells of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.
A group of women talk of their experiences with a rare condition - intersexuality. They are women who have the male XY chromosome. One was forcibly raised as a boy. One only found out about her condition accidentally when she was a teenager. And one was kept in the dark about it deliberately by doctors. About one baby in 20,000 infants is born intersex. Often these infants can be clearly seen to belong to one sex, but a small percentage of them are born with ambiguous genitalia and in the past, doctors made a unilateral decision about which sex they thought the child belonged to. Sometimes they even performed surgery without properly consulting or informing the parents. That practice has been banned in the Netherlands but although medical personnel and lay people are more open to variations in sexuality these days, people with an intersex condition still find the subject very difficult to bring up. This program was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
How many stars and how many stripes and what do they mean? You need to know this and many more flag questions to pass the US Naturalization test. Judith Kampfner recorded an audio diary about the process of becoming an American citizen, and about what it was like taking on a second identity. Was it a betrayal of her British roots? Or was it a very logical step to take for someone who thinks of herself as in internationalist? Many more people are becoming dual or multiple citizens today as more countries accept the idea - Mexico, Columbia and the Dominican Republic for instance. Does this dilute the concept of citizenship? Indeed perhaps we are less likely to identify ourselves as citizens today because we are part of a global culture and travel more. Kampfner discovers that going through the paperwork, the test and the ceremony does not help her feel American - that is something she and all the others who are processed have to do for themselves.
Girls Like Us
Marisela and Yadira immigrated illegally to the United States as small children. Marisela, who immigrated when she was 7, remembers crossing over the border while lying in the back of a truck. Yadira, who was 3 when she crossed, remembers nothing of her entry into the U.S. Her first memories are of life in California. After their families moved to Denver, Colorado, the two young women met in middle school. Both went on to become star students in high school – AP classes, top ten percent of their class – and recruiters from Colorado colleges were telling them that they would bend over backwards to snag students like them. But of course they had a big problem, which they were afraid to share: They didn’t have Social Security numbers. This meant that they didn't qualify for any federal aid, or for most private scholarships. “Girls Like Us” is the story of two young girls trying to get into college in a country where they are undocumented.
For the Glory of the Game
Producer Sam Levene of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation presents this documentary about a league of base ball
(that's 2 words) enthusiasts who play the game the
way it was first devised in the mid 19th century.
Across the U.S. and Canada, teams regularly meet in period
costume, and without gloves to play a polite, very
gentlemanly (and womanly) version of the game
that's become America's favorite sport. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Last Out
If you are a baseball junkie, this program is for you. Producers Moira Rankin and Dan Collison explore the baseball fan's addiction to the game as they follow two die-hard enthusiasts to see how they endure the off-season in anticipation of the spring.
Tuning into the Enemy
Between the mid seventies and the early nineteen nighties, Paul Erasmus was a secret police official in South Africa. His unit was responsible for what he calls dirty tricks, which included arson, sabotage, theft, discrediting people, illegal phone tapping, and firebombing. Then, before apartheid ended, he went in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to confess to 500 offenses and 80 serious crimes and was granted partial amnesty in 2000.
Paul Erasmus attributes his return of conscience, in part, to the realisation that he had destroyed the career of a musician whose work, talent and passion he grew to admire and love.
Over time, a strange kind of respect and even friendship has developed between Roger Lucey, a political singer, and his former tormentor. Their new relationship is one example of the reconciliation that was part of the political achievement of post apartheid South Africa.
Triads and Film
Enter the Hong Kong Triad "Underworld", where actors, directors, and police describe the Triad control of the film industry in the 1990s when a whole series of murders, beatings and dodgy dealings went down. That's when the Triad techniques of persuasion allegedly came into play - extortion, blackmail, beatings, rape - to get actors and stunt men to appear in their flicks. Eventually the actors had enough and campaigned against the violence. In “Triads and Film”, Producer Sarah Passmore of Radio Television Hong Kong looks at the current situation in the Hong Kong film industry to see the extent to which it may have broken free of these groups, and how much Triads are still involved in the entertainment industry. This program airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: The World of Crime.
Twelve-year-old Emily lives with her mother in a small town in the mountains of West Virginia. Emily has cerebral palsy, and is one of three-quarters of a million children in the United States with developmental disabilities she has impaired hearing, very limited speech and didn't learn to walk until she went to school. Because of Emily's inability to communicate in conventional ways, educators and other professionals initially had little idea of what her mental capabilities were, nor how much she could learn. But advances in communication technology, plus the love and commitment of family, teachers, therapists and community, have meant that Emily is learning not only to communicate, but also to reach her full potential as a human being. This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
Teaching: The Next Generation
In conversations about the use of technology in schools, what you'll often hear is: Once we have a cadre of young teachers and administrators who've grown up with technology, computer use in schools will take off. This program examines that premise by following a young teacher, Brian Mason (7th grade American History) as he begins his second year in the classroom. The program also explores Mr. Mason's approach to teaching by testing his theories about "what works" against the opinions of education experts. Producer Richard Paul brings us "Teaching: The Next Generation." This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
Fishing for My Master: Slavery in Ghana
All along Ghana's Cape coast, the old granite fortresses are now museums, bitter reminders of the colonial slave trade. Grim-faced tourists pay to see the musty dungeons, rattle the rusting chains, and open the doors that led to the slave ships.
But just down the road from the Cape Coast museums, slavery isn't about roots and it isn't about history. Today in Ghana, somewhere between five and seven thousand children ply the waters of Lake Volta, fishing. They have masters.
They don't get paid. They don't go to school. And if they try to escape they are beaten. The going rate to buy a five-year-old child is ten dollars - cheaper now than it was 200 years ago when people were being loaded onto ships.
The story of modern child slavery in Ghana isn't straightforward or simple. Even the villains of the piece have a case. It's a story of trade-offs between development and grinding poverty, between school and food, between children and parents and police. There is no quick-fix and no easy ending here.
In the middle of it, an unassuming man named Jack Dawson uses whatever transportation he can find - rusty van, old bicycle, strong feet - to take him to where the child slaves are. So he can begin the extremely delicate process of trying to save at least a few of them. It's in the bustling marketplace of Yeji, a city on the shores of the man-made Lake Volta, that the children are first sold. And that's where CBC producer David Gutnick begins his documentary, called: Fishing for My Master.
The Orphan Train
"The Orphan Train" is an unnarrated documentary about one of the least known and yet most significant social experiments in American history. In September 1854, the first "orphan train" carried 46 homeless children from New York City to far off homes to become laborers in the pioneer West. It was the first step in what was to become the emigration of as many as 250,000 orphan children to new homes throughout the entire United States. Some children found kind homes and families, others were overworked and abused. Widely duplicated throughout its 75 year history, the original orphan train was the creation and life project of the now forgotten man who was to become the father of American child welfare policy. This documentary features interviews with surviving orphan train riders, as well as readings from historical newspapers, letters and journals, and is laced with classical and folk music.
Running with Atalanta
Ten years ago, two young women were studying law – one in The Netherlands and the other in Latvia. Years later their lives would intersect. Ruth Hopkins, researching a European Commission report on the trafficking of women, interviewed Anna Ziverte – a victim who had been forced to work as a prostitute in Rotterdam.
The number of women trafficked and exploited in the sex trade annually in Europe is estimated to be as high as 700,000. Nearly a third are trafficked from Eastern and Central European countries. Ziverte escaped her traffickers only to find herself entangled in another nightmare – a Dutch system where victims are perceived as illegal immigrants. Taking matters into her own hands, she founded a support group called Atalantas, inspired by the swift-footed goddess from Greek mythology who could outrun any man.
Producer David Swatling of Radio Netherlands follows the journey of two women trying to find the light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. This program airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: The World of Crime.
Try Not to Breathe
It happens more than once, but you can't quite see his face. Sometimes, the sound of the wind outside your bedroom window turns into a tuneless but determined whistle. Then the robberies start.
Therese (not her real name) takes it very seriously. She reports each incident to the police, and investigates herself. She comes to the conclusion that she is being stalked. Months later, the man she suspects is in court - and irrefutably linked to her break-ins - but do the charges reflect his crimes? Producer Lea Redfern of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation follows this complex story, interviewing several women who are watching this case carefully, and hoping for justice. This program is part of our international documentary series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Wendy Workers and the Chicken Catchers
Leonisa Rubis is a very happy young woman these days. She's homesick for the Philippines, but she's making more money than she ever thought possible. She's working at Wendy's, serving combo meals and diet cokes, in Gibson's Landing on the Sunshine Coast of BC. That's why she came to Canada. That's why she was allowed to come to Canada. The first thing she said when she got off the plane - "I am Wendy Worker". But - if things go badly at Wendy's - she can't quit or go to work anywhere else and, at the end of 2 years, she'll be shipped back to the Philippines. She is one of a new breed - unskilled men and women - cleaning hotel rooms, working construction and flipping burgers - who are here as Temporary Foreign Workers. Canada didn't used to do this. When they needed hired hands to break the soil on the prairies, sawmill workers in BC, factory workers in Ontario – they took immigrants who came for life. Not any more. When it comes to sweat work, Canada will give you two years and then send you back where you came from. They call this being a guest worker. British Columbia will bring in at least 45,000 guest workers this year. That's the highest per capita number in Canada. They come in on nearly every plane at the Vancouver airport. The Wendy Workers and the Chicken Catchers was produced by Karin Wells of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Something's Happening Here
A trickle of humanity is showing up at Canadian border crossings: U.S. military deserters who don't want to fight in Iraq. And they are asking Canada for refuge, as it once was during the Vietnam War. Over the decades, many things have changed; there was a draft then, none now---at least not yet. But today's war resisters are not that different from the ones who came before. Their stories are wrapped up in the politics of Canada-US relations - in soul-wrenching deliberations and life-changing decisions - in the intense interplay of the forces of love, and family and country. This program comes to us from Bob Carty of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of our ongoing international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
In the 1960's, in California, African American parents set up an elaborate ruse to get their children a better education. Restricted to poor schools in low income East Palo Alto, outside of San Francisco, parents looked across the freeway and devised a way to send their children to wealthy Palo Alto schools. A young mother, barely educated herself, organized the Sneak Out program. Working with white parents, the program was a modern day Underground Railroad. KQED FM's Kathy Baron paints a portrait of conducters and passengers, students and safe houses in the fight to end school segregation.
The High Stakes of Today's Testing
Standardized tests have been around for years in the United States. What's different now is that schools and teachers are being held accountable for the results of these tests. Add to that new federal legislation, and the stakes are raised even higher, with threats of federal funding being cut off to underachieving school districts. Then there is the question of how and what the children are being tested on. Producer Katie Gott follows the paths of two failing schools, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia, to understand how each state applies its testing policy, and how testing impacts schools, teachers, parents and children. What happens if these schools don't make the grade after the scores are in? This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
There is a disease you've probably never heard of, but chances are you have it or someone you know or love has it and doesn't know. Doctors now believe that one in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, though only one in 4,700 gets diagnosed. Celiac Disease is an intestinal disorder where, when you eat wheat, barley or rye, your immune system attacks the food as if it were a virus. The results are devastating and painful. Celiac is more common than diabetes and hypertension, but because the means to diagnose it are only two or three years old, the disease is practically unknown in this country -- both to sufferers and their doctors. Producer Richard Paul presents the story of how Celiac Disease played itself out in the lives of 10 people.
Sunshine and Darkness
Xeroderma Pigmentosum is a genetic mutation with a number of implications. It can be life threatening. It diminishes the body's resistance to UV waves. People with XP can't tolerate sunlight. The older they get, the worse the problem becomes. People with XP have to be completely covered up before they go out, and even inside they live with curtains drawn. The disorder also creates a bubble around the person with XP, their family and friends. Often isolated, even in school, their connection to the world is tenuous.
Today, that isolation is breaking down. Producer Marti Covington reports on how schools, families and technology are helping people with this rare disorder (only 125 people in the United States have it) connect with the world. This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
Children of the Hated
During the Second World War, an estimated 10,000
children were born in Norway out of liaisons
between occupying German soldiers and local
women. The Nazis had set up special Lebensborn
homes where these liaisons could take place and
where single mothers and their babies could stay.
After the war life became hell for most of these
Norwegian women and their children. Producer Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands brings us Children of the Hated. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
My Father's Island
In the 1930s, five German brothers fled Nazi Germany and set sail for the Galapagos to live a Robinson Crusoe lifestyle. The Angermeyers were exotic and eccentric, and among the first permanent settlers. Through the memories of Joanna and other family members, Producer Ruth Evans of the BBC uncovers the family history and their links with the Galapagos. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Long Road Home
With no choice other than to leave their home, Chandra and Roy fled to India from Pakistan. They left behind their friends, jobs, and their house. Living in India for the past decade, producer Shivani Sharma takes them back to Pakistan to see if there's anything left coming home to.
Making a Home for Refugees
In 'Making a Home for Refugees' BBC producer Esther Armah
reports from Hull in the north east of England.
Traditionally Hull has had only a very small
ethnic community numbering some 300 Chinese, so
there was considerable suspicion when the local
council agreed to accept around 250 Iraqi Kurds,
under the British government's dispersal
programme. In fact between 1,500 and 3,000
arrived in the city, as a result of a deal done
by private landlords. Initially there were
incidents of violence and racial abuse, even
today there are occasional attacks. But as
Esther discovered, despite lingering prejudice,
there is a growing acceptance of these refugees
and asylum-seekers. This program airs as part of the special international collaboration series Global Perspectives: Looking for Home.
The Colony began as a hostel in Jerusalem in 1902
during the Ottoman empire. Later on it became a
hotel on the advice of Baron Von Ustinov. The
history of the colony is inextricably linked to
the history of the city itself. It was here in
room 16 that the secret talks leading to Oslo
accords were held. Over the years the hotel
became a place where Christians, Jews and Arabs
could sit together in peace, away from the
tensions of the violent city. Producer Mandy Cunningham of the BBC presents The Colony, as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Like many American cities, Detroit has survived cycles of decay and renewal. Producer Susan Davis invites you to lunch with a group of long-time friends and former neighbors--six local women, spanning two generations, three of them African-American, three of them Jewish. Listen as they share their memories of neighborhoods and a time when the city's racial divide could be conquered over a backyard fence or a kitchen table. They talk about what it means to build a real sense of community, and how easily it can be lost, as well as their hopes and dreams for the city's future.
A group of former devadasis - or Temple Prostitutes - are fighting to eradicate a
centuries-old Hindu tradition which turns them into prostitutes. Originally,
devadasi were celibate dancing girls used in temple ceremonies and they entertained
members of the ruling class. But sometime around the 6th Century, the practice of
"dedicating" girls to Hindu gods became prevalent in a practise that developed into
The girls are mainly of the lowest class, 'untouchables,' and their fight is the
ultimate clash of ancient and modern culture in India. The prevalence of the
devadasi tradition in parts of Southern India, in particular, means that social
acceptance of sex work in Karnataka State is common with devastating consequences
for the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hear the heart-wrenching story of Joythi, a young 'devadasi' or temple prostitute.
Joythi, her two small children, and her entire family depend on the income she
receives from bestowing her divine gift on her clients. But the truth is that she is
no more than a common prostitute, and as such is in a very dangerous profession.
Award-winning documentary-maker Kati Whitaker travels to the south of India to meet
Joythi - and the small group of former devadasis who are trying to persuade her to
leave the profession.
'Women sell themselves short doing things they hate in search of money or security or emotional
fulfillment,' says writer Carmen Delzell. For some this means staying in a bad marriage, to keep a roof
overhead or for the children's sake; for some it means prostitution. Delzell shares conversations with
women of diverse backgrounds -- a former prostitute, a woman who has suffered an abusive marriage,
an exotic dancer -- and reveals the threads that bind their experiences, and those of all women,
Fiona was randomly and violently sexually assaulted at the age of seven; Helen was sexually abused by her father, and later her stepfather. Both are sick and tired of sleepless nights and living in fear, and have turned to the Sycamore Tree Project in an attempt to move on.
The Sycamore Tree Project is a faith based, restorative justice program, where victims visit unrelated offenders in prison over a period of months to discuss crime and its ongoing effect on victims. Victims are given a platform to describe their pain, fear and loss. Offenders are encouraged to share their stories, to accept responsibility for their crime and to consider ways in which they might make restitution to their particular victims.
Sycamore Tree was produced by Kirsti Melville of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Goalkeepers of Sierra Leone
The United Nations has labeled Sierra Leone the worst place on earth to live. The final peace accord in an 11-year civil war was signed two years ago. There is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, often traveling the country in rowboats and on foot, and an internationally funded Special Court has been built in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown. One of the hallmarks of the civil war there was the practice of amputating the limbs of your enemy. There is, in fact, now an entire soccer team in Freetown made up of amputees. Those who had a leg cut off play on the field; men who kept their legs but lost their arms play goal. The team has more in common than missing limbs; they are all intensely interested in the ongoing trials at the Special Court. They want to know what happens to the people ultimately responsible for their missing limbs. In Karin Wells' documentary “The Goalkeepers of Sierra Leone", part of the CBC's "Africa After the Wars" series, she travels to a town where thousands of people have been the victims of amputations. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries. It won a Gold Medal at the 2005 New York Festivals.
Green Tea and Landmines
The streets of Mae Sot, on the Thai Burma border, are full of stories of loss and death and flight. About two and a half million Burmese have fled their country for Thailand, Burma remains one of the poorest countries in the world, and the protests against the military dictatorship have done little to change peoples' lives. In this episode, Nicole Steinke of the Australian broadcasting Corporation visits the extraordinary haven of Dr Cynthia Maung's Mae Tao Clinic. Funded mainly by foreign donations, Mae Tao Clinic runs the training center for the Backpack Medical Teams and the Free Burma Rangers, both of whom illegally cross the border back into Burma to help the country's ethnic minorities survive the onslaught of the Burmese military.
The Clinic is also where people come to vaccinate their babies, to be treated for malaria or cholera, or to receive a prosthetic -- many of the refugees fleeing the Burmese military have been forced to act as unwilling porters, or even as human landmine detectors.
We also meet long-time political prisoners, ethnic Burmese working to help their own people in their struggle against the Burmese military, and children who have crossed the border alone.
Before the War it Was the War
In the recent Middle Eastern conflict between the Lebanese guerilla organization Hezbollah and the state of Israel, one man took it upon himself to 'resist with his pen', to bear witness for his people and bring the world 'the real news from Beirut.' His name is Mazen Kerbaj, a young musician and comic illustrator whose impromptu blog site reached tens of thousands of people. The bombing of Lebanon has ceased but his blog-site continues. Producers Anna Burns and Nicole Steinke of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation give a vivid audio recreation of Mazen’s blog-site and of everyday life inside a war zone. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Janet Jackson reveals a breast and there is an uproar, a woman breast feeds in a mall and is thrown out, a child of 4 is naked on a beach and the life guard tells him to put his swimsuit on. Around the world there is topless bathing but it is rare in this country.
Yet one in four Americans admit to having skinny dipped.
Are we hypocrites? We obviously secretly like swimming nude so why don't we do it all the time?
The Internaional Naturist Federation says that nudism or naturism is " A way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal nudity with the intent of encouraging self respect, respect for other and the environment".
I don't know that going naked makes you respect the environment more but surely it must lead to a greater appreciation of the different shapes and sizes bodies come in and that might conceivably make us less body conscious and phobic about fat and imperfections.
Naturist camps are almost always in a mixed social setting. Detractors say that naturist is a code for sex but perhaps men and women start to notice their differences less?
And what about naked children? Naturists warmly encourage children. Would being at one of these camps cause psychological harm?
And then how hygenic really are these places?
At the end of summer, before the chill winds blow, reporter Judith Kampfner visits a naturist camp and yes, complies with the no clothes rule.
And that's no clothes when dancing, horsebackriding, kayaking, or in the canteen.
It's not something that this reporter relishes. She is short and is used to her everyday weapons of stacked heels. Like most women she uses clother to camoflage faults. Baring all may mean feeling vulnerable and stupid. But the nudists who come year after year find it liberating, relaxing, democratic, wonderfully cheap, wildly romantic.
Perhaps our reporter will become comfortable in her birthday suit. Now why do we say 'suit'?
In a world where just about everyone is concerned about their different shapes, sizes and colors producer Ilana Rehavia takes us from the beaches to the countryside of Brazil to see what the people have to say.
Mediums, not Rare
It's a small village in the rolling hills of southwestern New York.
Perched on the edge of a tranquil lake, it's a place where a stranger is
made to feel welcome. The friendly people who live here are doctors,
teachers, accountants, artists. Plain folks -- who talk to the dead.
Welcome to Lily Dale, the home base of Spiritualism -- a uniquely
"made-in-America" religion in which communication with the dead is both
possible and desirable. Founded in 1879, Lily Dale is North America's
oldest community of Spiritualists and Mediums. With its roots in the
radical and socially progressive movements of the late 19th century, it
began as a summer campsite for all who shared the Spiritualist vision of
universal equality and harmony. The tents and temporary shelters that
dotted the grounds soon gave way to permanent homes, and today Lily Dale
has a population of over 400. During the summer months, Lily Dale
attracts over 20,000 visitors. They come for workshops, seminars, and
lectures on communicating with the dead. It was a natural for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Frank Faulk. His documentary is called Mediums, Not
The Lucky Secret to Success
Many Hong Kongers believe that a person’s success is governed by five factors. These are, in order of importance: fate/destiny, luck, feng shui, good deeds/virtues, and hard work/study.
For the city that’s known for its competitive business culture, assiduous students, and industrious people; it seems surprising that hard work comes at the bottom of the list and more importance is attributed to external factors facilitating success.
So are Hong Kongers successfully lucky or luckily successful?
Erin Bowland of Radio Television Hong Kong explores the culture that is full of superstitions, rituals and beliefs revolving around the pursuit of success. This program was produced by Radio Television Hong Kong as part of our Global Perspective series on belief.
Touchstones of Reality
Having a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder isn’t easy for patients, or for their families. In the early days of mental illness, the pressures can tear families apart, and many of them don't know where to turn. As patients and caretakers age, things can get even tougher. While mental health services may provide some support, it's often family members who remain the only "touchstones of reality" for the person suffering with a severe mental illness. Producer Jean Snedegar speaks to several families who face the difficult challenge of supporting their mentally ill family members throughout the course of their lives.
Lost in America
Four people living on the edge--drug addicts, a prostitute and a blind woman--recount their journeys to a new life, revealing the connections between home and homelessness along the way. Producer Helen Borten brings us "Lost in America." This program won an EMMA award from the National Women's Political Caucus for Best Radio Documentary.
A Bird in the Hand
Avian Flu has hit many Asian countries, but Hong Kong, where the disease first spread to humans, has not been affected. Still, there are increasing calls to end the sale of live chickens which are chosen and killed at markets and shops across the city. Should Hong Kong stop the sale of freshly slaughtered chicken? Scientists agree this simple public health measure would reduce the risk of a worldwide pandemic which has killed tens of millions. But what if that measure goes against habit, culture and tradition; and what if no one can calculate the risk? How much is a bird in the hand really worth? Producers Hugh Chiverton and Sophia Yow of Radio Television Hong Kong present A Bird in the Hand as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Check-up on World Health.
Will The Banana Split?
Producer Bob Carty of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation takes us on a lively and hilarious, but informative examination of the banana. Its history (it could soon be extinct), its biology(it is sexless), its myths (you CAN keep bananas in the refrigerator), and its impact on popular culture, everything from Chiquita Banana, and Monty Python to The Simpsons. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
The Color of Shakespeare
At countless times in America, and for countless groups of citizens, the question has come up: Who "owns" Shakespeare? Who is it meant for, and to whom does it mean what? This is a particularly poignant question in the case of African-Americans, whom some have sought to exclude from the Bard's work. This story looks at minstrel show parodies of Shakespeare, color-blind casting of Shakespeare, and the African-American experience with Shakespeare. Produced by Richard Paul and narrated by Sam Waterston, The Color of Shakespeare was made possible with support from the Folger Library.
Living History in Colonial Williamsburg
Step back in time to the eve of the American Revolution, following a woman whose job it is to play an 18th slave character in Colonial Williamsburg; a woman who must learn, in 2004, to interpret and recreate 1770 slave culture for a tourist audience. The story is told through this character's own narration and reflection, her interaction with other historical characters and with the tourist public in Williamsburg, and through documentation of her daily tasks. As she steps in and out of character, we discover what it's like to step in and out of history: re-enacting the mundanities and tensions of 18th century life in the fields and kitchens during the day and negotiating a modern 21st century life after visiting hours.
In this program, producer Richard Paul examines the roots of hatred in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and considers whether people of faith can ever reconcile those divisions. The world’s great monotheistic faiths share centuries-old traditions, but they are also locked in dangerous rivalries that permeate contemporary thought. Through the stories of three men raised to their religion's version of the truth, and distrust of the "other", this program probes that duality and confirms the power of faith to overcome legacies of hostility, illuminating ways that people work beyond hatred and stereotypes.
According to the 2006 census, more than a third of all New Zealanders claim to have no religion. Few, however, would agree to being called an atheist. For some, calling yourself an atheist is a certain path to derision. But for many, the term atheist just doesn’t accurately reflect their particular version of disbelief. Instead, they often opt for a different term: God Indifferent.
Producer Justin Gregory talks to three different people about their take on disbelief. Academic and unashamed atheist Dr. Bill Cooke, radical theologian and Presbyterian minister Professor Lloyd Geering (the only person to have been tried for heresy in New Zealand), and “constructive skeptic” Arch Thompson speak to the tradition and variety of atheism, the emerging trends of fundamentalism and indifference, and the possibilities for new forms of belief, free from gods or dogma. God Indifferent was produced by Radio New Zealand as a part of the Global Perspective series on belief.
War and Forgiveness
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of wars won and lost. Often, we think of the battles and the victories. At times, we consider the inevitable war crimes: the massacres, rapes and other atrocities. Rarely do we consider the perspectives of those who are responsible as well as those who are injured. In a special hour long documentary, War and Forgiveness, we present two sides of the equation: the victims and the perpetrators of wartime atrocities. WNYC, RADIO NETHERLANDS, and SOUNDPRINT have collaborated on a two part program that looks at women in Korea who were commandeered to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II and Dutch soldiers who carried out a torture campaign in Indonesia. As different as their stories are, they reach the same conclusion: the need for a moral apology from the government.
Living with the WaterWolf
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, other populations living at or below sea-level have expressed heightened concern for their safety. In the Netherlands, much of the land is below sea level, and despite the complex system of pumps and levies, there's a long history of mass flooding. Michele Ernsting from Radio Netherlands Worldwide went in search of answers in preventing another national disaster. This program airs as part of the special international documentary collaboration, Global Perspectives: Escape!
Code Green explores the impact that hurricanes have on urban greencover, from integrating trees and wetlands into a city's infrastructure and disaster plan, to post-hurricane damage assessment of city trees and coastal marshes, to recovery and rebuilding. Hear from scientists, city planners and urban foresters about their work to establish, protect and restore the green infrastructure in the wake of catastrophic hurricanes, in coastal cities from Charleston to New Orleans. This program, from Producer Gemma Hooley, airs as part of our ongoing series, Tales from Urban Forests.
Leaving a Mark: The Story of An Auschwitz Survivor
This documentary features the story of Eva Schloss whose life bore remarkable parallels to that of Anne Frank. Eva Schloss was also 15 years old when she and her family were transported to Auschwitz. Like Anne Frank she also lost beloved family members in the death camp. However, unlike Anne Frank, she lived to tell the tale. After their liberation, Eva’s mother married Otto Frank, Anne’s father. Eva’s story takes up where the Anne Frank diary left off. This program was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands and airs as part of the international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.
Losing, searching, not always wanting to find
what we thought we were looking for. Hemingway's
lost manuscripts, a father's lost childhood, lost
talent, lost opportunities and a mysterious
silver umbrella. Stories of loss and memory are
played out on the European rail system and
interwoven in this feature by Natalie Kestecher of
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.
Call me Nana
It's a job they never expected. A club they never wanted to join. According to the Statistics Canada census released this week, there are more than 65,000 grandparents in Canada raising grandchildren on their own, without the parents present. They're called skipped generation families. And their number is growing by about a thousand every year.
Most of the grandparents - more than two thirds - are actually grandmothers and step-grandmothers. Women who have turned their lives upside down to parent for a second time. They do it because their grandchildren are at risk - abandoned or neglected, and destined to become wards of the state. Theirs are stories of love and devotion. But also of real struggle - physical, emotional and financial. These grandmothers are the subject of Alisa Siegel's documentary this morning called Call Me Nana.
Call Me Nana was produced by Alisa Siegel of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of the international documentary collaboration, Global Perspectives: Escape!
Dear Birth Mother
After waiting for Mr. Right (who has yet to arrive) – and after years of fertility treatments – Suzanne, a single woman in her forties, decided to adopt. She chose transracial adoption. We follow her through workshops designed to "teach white people to raise kids of color," baby-shopping trips with Mom at Target, a critical rendezvous with a young mother at a pancake house, and, finally, a magical night at a suburban restaurant chain. We followed Suzanne for several months as she waited to see if she would become a parent; she offered extraordinary access into her home, and really, into every aspect of her life.
The Soybean Wars
Soybeans, rows and rows of soybeans all around. In western Paraguay
the fields that were once thick rain forests are now soybean
plantations. They stretch far into the distance swaying hypnotically
back and forth in the wind. This ocean of soy, though, is dotted
with small islands--houses, actually, that belong to the subsistence
campensinos who once eked out a living farming an array of crops like
sugar, cotton, wheat, and maize. But now there is only industrial
harvested soy. And pesticides.
Soybeans, of course, have a very good reputation in the West (think tofu
and biofuels), but the reality is they have damaging repercussions in
developing nations where environmental laws are lax and local
populations are exploited by multinational corporations. Right now,
this is happening in Paraguay, the world's fastest growing soybean
The Bourbons, the Wampum and Boodle Boys, and Stalin's Mortimer Snerd
In 1948 the Democratic party faced extraordinary challenges: how to forge an alliance between Southern conservatives, Western progressives and big city labor; how to incorporate a civil rights plank; how to quell the rise of a third party. Truman, Dewey and Henry Wallace. It was a year of upsets. Producer Moira Rankin brings us the sense, and sounds, of that pivotol election year. And are there political and social lessons for this year's presidential contest to be learned from the election of '48.
Escape To New Zealand
Warnings of global warming and climate instability are widespread in 2008.
Issues relating to the human influences on the global climate and the imminent likelihood of rising sea levels, the death of ancient forests, droughts, widespread agricultural failure, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic have set many on a path to find ways to escape these changes.
For some, the dire planetary predictions have influenced them to become active environmental refugees, seeking a home on some part of the planet where the global changes can, perhaps, be weathered.
In Escape to New Zealand, Radio NZ's Halina Ogonowska-Coates talks to four environmental refugees about their experiences in dealing with the issues facing our planet. This program airs as part of the international documentary collaboration, Global Perspectives: Escape!
April in Paris
Ever since Ben Franklin fell in love with it and came home with tales of 'Gay Paree', Americans have
held to golden images of the city: the capital of eating and drinking, of glamorous night life, of
perfume. Even if we haven't been there we can see in our mind's eye the barges gliding along the Seine,
the lovers kissing in the streets and on park benches; we can smell the exotic cooking, and over it all we
can hear the wistful accordion music. But how much of all this is myth, how much reality? Producer
Alice Furlaud explores the question, starting with the myth that Vernon Duke created in his nostalgic
song, 'April in Paris'. Don't come in April, she advises, better wait 'til May.
Escape from Time
"Lost Time is never found again." Benjamin Franklin wrote that, and producer Barbara Bogaev agrees. She tries daily to reconcile her time, "Barbara Time", with "Clock Time"; at the same time, she dreams of a life WITHOUT time. And really, who wouldn¹t like to escape the relentless march of time?
In that spirit, we consider various routes people take to Escape From Time. A neuroscientist explains the ways in which the brain stretches time in periods of stress and peak performance; a civil war re-enactor immerses himself so convincingly in the past that he achieves the elusive high known as "period rush"; and then we visit the ten thousand year clock -- a project devoted to looking ten thousand years into the future in order to gain perspective on the present.
Escape From Time was produced by Barbara Bogaev, with additional production by Queena Kim. The show was mixed by Jared Weissbrot. “Yew Piney Mountain” was performed by Appalachian Fiddler Lars Prillaman. Special thanks to Wide Awake Films, Alexander Rose of the Long Now Foundation, and Taylor Dupree at 12k for permission to use the song Solang by Sogar, from their album Apikal Blend. This program was produced as part of the international documentary exchange collaboration, Global Perspectives: Escape!
After the Shot
On the night of April 14th 1865, in front of a thousand people at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Shouting ‘Sic semper tyrannis’ – ‘thus always to tyrants’, Booth believed that he was striking down a tyrant as surely as Brutus struck down Julius Caesar. Twelve days later Booth himself was shot dead in a barn in Virginia. From the moment Booth shot Lincoln, conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination have flourished – and 140 years later, for both historians and ordinary people, they are still very much alive. Some believe Booth was the ring leader of a small group; others are convinced he was simply a pawn in a grand conspiracy plot. While still others believe it wasn’t really Booth who died in that Virginia barn. Jean Snedegar tries to unravel the truth – and a myriad of legends - about the assassination of a great American president.
Knitting with Dog Hair
An entertaining and informative look at knitting with dog hair, from its alleged origins in Catalonia to contemporary practice in Australia. This program will encourage listeners to look at their four legged friends in a new and creative light. Knitting with Dog Hair was produced by Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of our international exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
It seems we all love to hear revenge stories --
the petty ones and the grand -- even when they
are painful or the recipient is blameless. And we
seem to love to tell revenge stories about
ourselves -- even stories that make us look
childish or venal. Revenge visits the unspoken
dark place where revenge impulses lie through the
stories of people who have planned revenge and
those who have carried it out.
After Graduation: Meeting Special Needs
Many learning disabled students are finding that they learn more readily with a variety of technology assistance and human support in their classrooms. But what happens once they leave school? Whether moving into the workforce, or on to higher education, most high school graduates discover they must adjust to new environments on their own and learn to advocate for themselves. Alyne Ellis takes a look at how some schools and universities are trying to ease the transition of learning disabled students to a life after graduation. This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
Equity in Education
Brown vs. the Board of Education was the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the old "separate but equal" policies of many school boards unconstitutional. Producer Kathy Baron takes a look at how far school systems have come over the past 50+ years in assuring equality for all students and whether technology plays a role in giving these students access. The Brown case triggered numerous court mediated desegregation policies around the country. Some school systems are only now emerging from court orders. Are schools for minority students now equal to those of primarily white students? And many higher education systems are facing a grim reality. In California university systems are not able to admit everyone who is eligible and a large percentage of incoming freshman are enrolled in remedial classes. Another major court case found that K-12 students in the state were not getting equal access to education. What, in fact, does an equal education look like? This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
No Way Out
According to official statistics, one woman a month is killed in the UK by her family in the name of honour, usually because she has rejected or tried to escape from a forced marriage, or has found a partner to love of her own choosing. But campaigners suspect that the figures are much higher, with women being driven to kill themselves out of desperation, or murders being disguised to look like suicide.
Though honour killing is sometimes thought to be a Muslim problem, it occurs in many patriarchal communities around the world, including Hindu, Sikh and Christian too.
Presenter Shazia Khan, talks to three women, one of them in hiding in fear of her life, about why they have become targets of such rage and threatened violence. And how the very people who they would have hoped would protect them have turned on them.
For the women who have challenged their family’s expectations there is a life-long price to pay, they can never relax, ‘No Way Out’. This program airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Global Perspectives: Escape!
The Reason I'm Here
Over a four year period from 1988 to 1992, a serial rapist terrorized Calgary, Alberta. He was known as the Hemlock rapist. On June 20th, 2005, the rapist pled guilty, almost 17 years after the first attack. It was on that day, too, that his four victims met and spoke with each other for the first time.
In Canadian courts, the names of sexual assault victims are kept secret for two reasons: To encourage women to step forward freely, and to shield them from public scrutiny and judgment. But in the Hemlock case, two women insisted that the publication ban on their names be lifted. In so doing, they join a mere handful of victims of sexual assault who have chosen to go public with their stories. The two other victims chose to maintain the ban. One is too traumatized to speak at all.
Producer Jane Farrow of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation presents a story about three women, raped by the same man. Three women who made very different decisions - privately and publicly - about how to deal with the attack on their bodies and their lives. This program airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: The World of Crime.
The Grass is Greener
Ghana is an African country that is comparatively stable politically and economically, and yet large numbers of the population want to escape overseas to where they think ‘The Grass is Greener’. Ghanaians come back from working overseas and build grand houses and flaunt their wealth with new cars and the latest mobile phones, which makes the poor Ghanaians at home long to get a slice of a better paid job than they can hope for at home.
Presenter Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, of Joy FM radio station in Accra, has had his own taste of study and menial work in the UK, and is now content to be back in Ghana. But he meets young people who are still desperate to travel outside the country. This program airs as part of the special international collaboration, Global Perspectives:Escape.
Loida and Johanna go to Flin Flon
Welcome to the small mining town of Flin Flon in Manitoba, Canada, founded in 1915 and swept by a wave of immigration a decade later with the arrival of the Canadian railway and miners from around the world. Eighty-five years later, the mine is mechanized. Wal-Mart has come to town. The wave of immigrants has been replaced by the arrival of the occasional foreigner. Now Flin Flon's immigrants are people the town desperately needs: doctors from South Africa, an accountant from Pakistan. This is the story of Loida and Johanna, two young Filipino nurses who come to Flin Flon. This program was produced by Karin Wells of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Looking for Home.
The Convict Streak
Bernie Matthews was a ‘serial escapee’ - the thought of incarceration too much to bear. Yet every time he escaped (6 in all), his sentence (for armed robbery) was extended, and the punishment made more severe. Until he escaped through the pen.
Bernie likens himself to the convict George Howe – one of the thousands of criminals transported to New South Wales between 1819 and 1848. ‘Happy George’, with no formal eduction became the first editor of The Sydney Gazette.
But these two men are the exceptions of their times. The life of a convict in early C19 Australia was gruelling and desperate, as it is for those incarcerated today. Punishment for Escaping included solitary confinement and being sent to the harshest of prison environments –Van Diemen’s land then and the Super max prisons now. Yet some still managed to get away…
The Convict Streak was produced by Roz Bluett of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of the 2008 international documentary collaboration, Global Perspectives: Escape!
Across The Water: Journey to Robben Island
South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison on Robben Island. Now the prison is closed and the island has become a museum, a fast growing tourist attraction in the new South Africa. Former political prisoners work alongside their former jailers as the new keepers of the island's history. It is perhaps one of the most tangible symbols of South Africa's miraculous transformation from apartheid to a multi-party democracy. But what about the personal transformations of those who continue to work on the island? Hear from some of the former prison wardens who continue to live and work there.
Yellow and Black
Talk about taxis as a guilty pleasure! Whether it's riding in style on the streets of New York (avoiding the hustle, bustle, and pain of the Subway), or zipping across London's spiraling maze of cross-streets (never doubting your intrepid guide's sense of direction), producer Judith Kampfner takes us on a tour of Taxi drivers -- the rough-edged New York City cabbies, and the traditional, vintage hacks of London.
Songs of the Automobile
Songs of the Automobile explores U.S. culture through the national love affair with the car. Travel from coast to coast to visit hot-rodder enthusiasts, auto show junkies, and everyone else in between on this musical journey of unfolding car tales and anecdotes. From stories of that first purchase, to dating in the backseat, to the beloved car full of nostalgia rusting in the driveway, BBC producers Judith Kampfner and Roger Fenby take you on this lyrical cross-country radio road trip. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
In 1942 a US Navy destroyer was shipwrecked off Newfoundland. Of the few who survived, one man, Lanier Phillips, was black. The rescuers, never having seen a black man before, tried to scrub his skin clean and white. This is a story about growing up with fear in segregated Georgia, enlisting in a segregated navy, facing death in the icy North Atlantic, and a rescue which galvanized a man to fight racial discrimination.
A True Brother
A cautionary note to homophobes everywhere: Whoever you hate will end up in your family. This according to comedian Chris Rock, who points to real life for the evidence. Take Paul Burke. He's an Evangelical pastor with the Cornerstone Urban Church, in downtown Toronto. Paul Burke was fourteen when he learned that his older brother Timothy was a homosexual. Shocked and disgusted, Paul barely spoke to Timothy for fifteen years. And though he felt called by his faith to work with the poor, the outcasts, the marginalized in society, Paul felt only shame at having a gay brother. Then something shifted. Paul decided to call his brother, and ask for his forgiveness. Since that day, Paul and Timothy Burke have tried hard to build a relationship. In this documentary from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Paul and Timothy tell their story - from childhood in a religious white family in Jamaica, to the painful falling out and the struggle for reconciliation. This program was produced by Frank Faulk, and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.
The Spoken Word
Join us on a journey through the rich tradition of performance poetry, set in Washington DC's famous and eclectic U Street corridor. Our program takes you from memories of the live poetry clubs that emerged there in the 1960's, through the D.C. riots that saw venues closing down and artists scattering to the West Coast, to the modern day renaissance of the spoken word tradition. Our story is narrated by performance poets M'wili Yaw Askari, Toni Ashanti Lightfoot and Matthew Payne.
Going Home to the Blues
People say going down south is like
going home. Take a trip to the
Mississippi Delta to find the true
meaning of the Blues.
Everyone has hard times throughout
their lives, but does that classify as
the Blues? Producers Askia Muhammed and
Debra Morris search for an answer while
In these days of big sticks, harsh words and war-talk, who couldn't use a little romance, a little love. Isn't that, as the song goes, what the world needs now. Well, in that spirit, we bring you the story of Sherman Hickey and Marie O'Toole. Theirs is a tale of innocence and desire that began almost seventy years ago. It's also a tale of unrequited passion and enduring devotion that only recently found its happy ending. This program comes to us from Bob Carty of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Romance Series.
The Sobbing Celebrant
Australian Broadcasting Corporation producer Natalie Kestecher thought it might be useful to have a few options up her sleeve if she ever decides to stop making radio documentary features. So she decided to become a Marriage Celebrant. Natalie enrolled in the first ever training course which, under new Australian legislation, all intending Celebrants must complete in order to be accredited.
Being a Celebrant is not just about saying the necessary words (which must always include 'I do') and ensuring the right forms are correctly filled in; it's also about devising meaningful ceremonies for a secular society. Theme weddings, butterfly releases, and quotes from 'The Prophet' are all popular. So what happens if you don't do themes, you hate 'The Prophet' and you think butterfly releases are yucky? Natalie spent a week coming to terms with the modern wedding. It turned out to be a week of introspection. 'The Sobbing Celebrant' offers an entertaining insight into the process that confers upon regular (or not so regular) citizens the right to officiate at the most significant moments in our lives. This program airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Romance Series.
A few months ago, police in New York City announced that they had shut down a ring of body snatchers. The police alleged that criminals had been secretly using corpses bound for the cemetery or cremation, and removing bones, skin, tendons and veins for sale in a booming business of body parts. Many of the body parts were aged and riddled with disease. Possibly tainted tissues were implanted in people with dental problems, back pain, and burns. As many as ten thousand North Americans, maybe more, could be affected.
How could this happen in a sector of the medical industry that we assume to be tightly regulated? We asked Bob Carty to find out.
He found an industry that for many years, has been in fact lightly regulated. And he found the stories of two women - a daughter of one of the defiled corpses, and a Canadian recipient of such body parts - who have found themselves strangely connected in a macabre nightmare.
Beyond the Mirror
A recent decision in the UK allowed the world’s first full facial transplants. The BBC's Kati Whitaker talks to three people about the impact of severe facial disfigurement and discovers what beliefs have helped them through their despair.
The face is our first point of contact with the world. But what happens if you lose your face to injury or disease?
Simon Weston suffered from burns in the Falklands war; Michele Simms had her face destroyed by a firework, and Diana Whybrew had half her face removed with a malignant tumor. Their belief in themselves has been challenged to its limits – down to a sense of who they are. This program was produced by the BBC World Service as part of our special Global Perspective series on belief.
Who needs libraries?
As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and in this program Producer Richard Paul explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world. This program airs as part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.
Snacktime, Naptime, Computer Time
Computers in classrooms are a given in elementary
schools across the nation. Now new technology
initiatives are bringing computers into
preschools, driven by the assumption that if
children don't begin early, they fall behind.
But is this really true? And are computers
essential learning tools for very young minds?
How do very young children learn, how do their
brains develop, and does pointing, clicking and
hyperlinking affect their neurological and social
development? Early childhood education
specialists weigh in on a government funded
statewide program that aims to make toddlers
computer literate. This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
Everest and Beyond
A tribute to the extraordinary life and achievements of Sir Edmund Hillary. After his memorable conquest of Everest in 1953, this tall, craggy, modest man, added to his worldwide fame with expeditions to remote corners of the world and his activities serving the Sherpa people of Nepal. This New Zealand legend of the 20th century has lived life to the full – surviving personal tragedy as well as achieving historic triumphs and displaying tireless philanthropy. Produced by Jack Perkins of Radio New Zealand, ‘Everest And Beyond’ draws on the recollections of family, friends and colleagues of Sir Edmund Hillary and also uses audio from films shot in Nepal and India by documentary film maker Michael Dillon.
Throne of St.James
In a Washington, D.C. garage, James Hampton, a non- descript janitor by trade, started work on the Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly. Built entirely out of discarded objects, this 180 piece sculpture was discovered after James' death in 1964. Considered by some to be one of the finest examples of American visionary religious art, the Throne resides at the Smithsonian. This is the story of The Throne of St. James. This program comes to us from Radio New Zealand and airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Deaf and Proud
This story focuses on people who choose to live inside the very powerful deaf culture and have no desire to be "fixed" so that they can be more like hearing people. It's a world most hearing people are unlikely to ever reach without the bridge of sign language.
It might come as a surprise to learn that deaf parents don't grieve, but rather celebrate the birth of a deaf child. (And that one of the most important lessons they must teach them is that passing wind in public makes noise!)
The World at Your Fingertips
Helen Keller said that blindness separates a person from objects, and deafness separates that person from people. Without support, encouragement and education, the world of a deaf-blind person can be an isolated one of darkness and silence. In the documentary "The World at Your Fingertips" produced by Anna Yeadell of Radio Netherlands, we visit India where more than half a million people are deaf-blind. But with the help of Sense International and the Helen Keller Institute in Mumbai, many deaf-blind children and young adults are reaching out to the world around them, widening their horizons, and fulfilling their potential. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Learning to Live: James' Story
"Learning to Live: James' Story" documents the journey of James Robinson, a 38 year old ex-offender, as he makes the transition from repeated prison sentences to life in the free world. After a 7-year prison term, James arrives at St. Leonard's halfway house for ex-offenders in Chicago. He tells the staff that he needs to "learn to live," knowing full well how hard it is to transition back to society on his own. "James' Story" chronicles James' hard work over the course of ensuing three months; job training, drug counseling and 12-step support meetings. During his stay at the halfway house, James also finds his "dream" job and reconnects with family members, including an eighteen-year-old son he hadn't seen since the child was four.
Out of their hands
Twenty five years ago, four stunned mothers who'd lost their
children, one an adult, one a teenager, the
others younger, were introduced at a Toronto
hospital by a chaplain. They found they could
talk to each other with more ease than to other
people. Their friendship grew to an organization,
Bereaved Parents of Ontario, that now has
hundreds of members. Producer Teresa Goff of the CBC brings us their stories and what the organization has done for
them. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Soundprint Programs from other years: